Endodontics (aka Root Canal Therapy)

Every tooth has a nerve. Sometimes the nerves can cause an extreme amount of pain due to various reasons (a deep filling, a deep cavity, broken tooth with an exposed nerve, etc...). If the nerve dies, often the result is an abscess which is a pus filled swelling that forms at the tip of the tooth root and can sometimes drain through the gums. As you can imagine, this is can be a very uncomfortable situation.

In the past, usually the only way to get rid of the this toothache or dental pain was to extract the tooth. However, root canal therapy allows you to eliminate the pain and infection, while saving the tooth. The tooth is frozen with local anesthetics - if you are properly frozen, root canals should not be a painful experience. A small hole is made in the tooth to enter the centre of the tooth where the dead nerve is removed with fine instruments, and the roots are all cleaned and disinfected right down to the tips. A special filling is placed into the root systems and the tooth is sealed with a new filling.

For a posterior tooth that has been root canaled, it is usually recommended to have a crown placed to protect it from breaking in future.